PBS and NPR for Southwest Florida
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Lee County Black History Society celebrates Emancipation Day in Florida

Many may be familiar with the celebration of Juneteenth, the national holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States and when Texas received word about the end of the Civil War and enslavement.

It was in 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. But it wasn’t until June 19th in 1865 that word came to Texas that slavery had been abolished.

In Florida, it was May 20th in 1865 when they learned about the Emancipation Proclamation.

“May 20th is the actual date that Florida found out that the slaves were free," says
Harriet Myers with the Lee County Black History Society in Fort Myers. The Organization will celebrate the history of Florida’s Emancipation Day this Saturday, May 20th, at Roberto Clemente Park in Fort Myers.

With a host of activities scheduled for the day, organizers want attendees to remember those who came before and never forget about the history of when freedoms began to shine some of its light upon African Americans in Florida.

“It’s good to celebrate Juneteenth, but we want you to know the importance of May 20th. If we don’t teach this to our children, and learn it ourselves our history will be lost," says Myers.

The program begins at 3 p.m. Saturday and runs through 6 p.m. The theme will highlight the women of 1865 and thereafter.

WGCU is your trusted source for news and information in Southwest Florida. We are a nonprofit public service, and your support is more critical than ever. Keep public media strong and donate now. Thank you.